Our guest blogger is Evan Hackel, Founder and Principal of Ingage Consulting
I recently conducted a study with the Franchise Business Review, which polled 24,000 franchises and 300 franchise brands. We asked, "What is the root cause of your engagement issue?" and one of the most common responses was ineffective communication. Communication is vitally important as a way to keep franchisees focused on executing goals and avoiding repetitive messaging.
I've compiled five tactical tips that can help franchises stick to their business models, communicate well with audiences and embrace engagement.
1. Your Audience
Why do they care and what's in it for them? Make sure you are developing a relationship among your management, franchisee, and employees, so that you are all on the same page about how to keep your audience engaged.
Keeping your audience engaged is easy when you know your options and you test out what works best. Here are some examples of how you can get participation levels up:
- Enlist a communication advisory council that can start and seed conversations
- Use an Intranet to enable subsets of franchisees to work together (advisory councils, regional networking, advertisers)
- Ask franchisees to contribute articles and comment on posts
- Ask yourself important questions, like which social media posts are successful or which upcoming topics you should feature at your convention
- Conduct polls
3. Less is More
There are more efficient ways to hydrate than drinking from a fire hose. Make sure to streamline communication efforts to make things easier for you and your franchise:
- Communicate by role
- Define how you communicate to others
- Define the communication expectation of the franchisee
- Have the bulk and the most current info on your Intranet - don't depend on email
- Track all emails and don't be repetitive
4. Source of the Truth
Everyone needs to pitch in and keep the Intranet or private online community clean. The biggest complaint that our consulting practice hears is, "I can't find what I'm looking for!"
5. Well-Orchestrated Symphony
Timing matters. Keep your communications department and other internal staff updated on communication strategy and coordinating your franchise's message with upcoming events and promotions.
I hosted a webinar on this topic with Higher Logic's Kyle Roberts, CFE on Thursday, June 27. You can watch the webinar replay or access my PowerPoint slides here. If you're an IFA member, log in to IFA's private social network, FranSocial, to continue the conversation and have access to many more.
I leave you with this question - what's your biggest communication challenge?